Striking West Virginia teachers told it's time to go back to school

Teachers celebrated after lawmakers postponed voting on SB 451. But they're not done striking.

(CNN)West Virginia teachers and service personnel have been told to report to their schools Thursday, ending their strike, West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee told CNN.

The announcement comes after the state House chose not to bring up controversial bill SB 451 on Wednesday night, ensuring the legislation is dead.
The House voted to take up HB 2730, the bill from Gov. Jim Justice that addresses compensation of state police and salaries for public school teachers and personnel. It's unclear when the House will further discuss or vote on that bill.
    The strike was the second time in 11 months that West Virginia teachers have walked out. But this time, they weren't fighting for more raises. They wanted a quick death to SB 451, which would use public dollars to help fund new charter schools and private school tuition.
    That's a slap in the face for public schools, which desperately need more funding, teachers say.
    "I think the most important thing is (charter schools) takes funding away, and kids away, from those public schools that need it," said elementary school teacher Christina Rollins.
    The latest strike was part of a fresh wave of teachers' protests that started last year in West Virginia, spread across the country, and came back full circle.
    On the opposite coast, Los Angeles teachers -- who recently scored victories with their strike this year -- threw their support this week behind West Virginia teachers.
    "Solidarity with our West Virginia sisters and brothers!" tweeted United Teachers Los Angeles, the local union. "They are staying out on strike on Wednesday 02/20 to ensure that Republicans do not attempt to revive the pro-privatization bill."

    Why was SB 451 such a big deal?

    The controversial bill dealt with an issue many states are grappling with -- whether to put more public dollars toward privatized education.
    Specifically, SB 451 would have:
    -- Introduced charter schools for the first time in West Virginia;
    -- Started an education savings account program, which would have allowed households earning less than $150,000 a year to apply for public funds to help pay for private school tuition, tutoring, online learning programs or other educational costs.
    The bill bounced back and forth this week between the state Senate and House of Delegates, with each side making changes. But after teachers went on strike Tuesday, the House postponed a vote on the bill indefinitely.
    "For all intents and purposes, this particular bill ... is considered dead, except for one exception," said Lee. "There's one scenario in which it can resurface, and that is the 24-hour window in which the motion to be reconsidered."
    And that's why teachers re